While you may want to be available for everyone that needs you 24/7, that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Sometimes, you need to set guilt-free boundaries, and take care of yourself along the way. Today I’m talking about boundaries and why we all need to set them.
Listen in as I discuss the need for boundaries and self-care and talk about the most important lesson of all. Think about the rewards of putting yourself first and learn to leverage this in both your personal and professional life.
Full transcription of the show is below:
Something came up from a client that I wanted to talk about. It’s like this big thing for women and that is, “How are we going to help set and shift our boundaries?” We, women have got so much going on. We’re superwoman. We have a tendency not to set good boundaries until the day that we do. If you’re a boundary person and you’ve got strong ones, strong parameters, that’s amazing. Good for you. My experience working with clients over the years is 80%, 90% of us have terrible boundaries. We let people walk all over our carefully carved-out time.
Why do we do this? Because we are told from the time that we are little girls that we are supposed to be team players. What does a team player do? When somebody else on the team needs you, let’s say there’s no I in team and that’s why. We’re being invited into a completely different experience than maybe one that would fully support us as individuals. I found there are men who have these boundary issues as well. It’s just not that common because little girls tend to be trained up to be team players. Any wonder that you might have boundary issues?
Years ago, I did this wonderful session with a client and dear friend. I said to her, “You have to put yourself first.” She was like, “That’s never going to happen because it doesn’t feel right inside of me.” If that’s you, my hat is off to you because you’ve had to put up with a lot more over the years than those of us who were taught that it was okay to say no or to not always put the team first. However, we came up with this amazing analogy that I have used for years. I’m going to share it with you because I feel it’s such a great shift. That is, tend to your own garden first so that you will have more harvest to share with others. That feels like completely different energy. It doesn’t feel like, “I’m putting myself first and everybody else last,” because that’s what we tend to think about. However, when we put ourselves first and by tending to our own garden first, that gives us more harvest to share with everyone else. That’s a good thing.
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The analogy that I have also used over time is the idea that you believe that you are the last spoke on the wheel. If you imagine, there’s the hub of the wheel and all these spokes around it. Which spoke are you? You would walk through while there’s work, my kids, elderly parents, clients, paths and my household. Maybe if there’s leftover time, there’s my personal care. That’s the way we tend to think until we have a new way of thinking about it. That again is the last spoke on the wheel. When you reframe this, the new analogy is, “You’re the hub of the wheel.” When a wheel is wobbly, it doesn’t roll properly. When you’re wobbly, all of the spokes, which are everything other than you is what doesn’t work. It’s an invitation to reframe yourself from that last spoke over on the corner and it’s almost an extra spoke all the way back to being that hub so that the wheel will roll properly.
Even if you don’t have children of your own, if you’ve ever watched a child with a parent, when the parent is too busy for them, the kid energetically gets what’s going on and is in pain because of that, discomfort or confusion. The parent usually tends to sail right on through because they were oblivious to that child’s needs in the first place. You think that by ignoring the kid at that moment, that kid doesn’t notice but they do. What do you think they are noticing about when your energy isn’t being managed by you in a way that supports the child, as opposed to a way that makes them feel like an afterthought because you’re busy with all of the other spokes on the wheel? That’s the thing when you come into alignment with it. You can say to the child, “We can’t do this for 30 minutes. This is what we’re going to do together. This is your time.” That energetically shifts the way the child feels as well in a positive way. That would be one example as far as the boundaries go.
With clients, we think that we need to be available to our clients at all times if you’re an entrepreneur. The truth is that doesn’t support the client either because we want the client to stand on their own two feet. When I work with my clients, I like to say, “This is a teaching hospital. I want to get to a place with you or you can move on where you don’t need me anymore. How is that going to happen? It’s going to happen because I’m going to give you stuff and teach it to you as opposed to just telling you.” That’s the energetic shift there. If I’m available to you all the time, “I want your voice to be in my head and my voice to be in your head.” People tell me that all the time. They are asking, “What would Halle do here?” It’s because they worked with me for a while or, “I heard you in my head saying that so I knew what to do for myself.” That’s what you want to do. When you’re available to your clients 24/7, you teach them that your time isn’t as valuable. You teach them not to stand on their own two feet. Setting those parameters can help immensely as well. I feel like there are other pieces to this, but it tends to depend more on your specific issues.
If you’re the kind of person who works a ten-hour a day for free, I have a client right now who’s shifting out of that. She’ll say, “I need to fix this.” She’ll work a ten-hour a day for that emergency thing that client had that needed to be fixed. But the way that she’s doing that, she’s sucking all of the energy out of herself. She’s not available for herself. She’s not available for her other clients. You heard the free part because she’s helping somebody else with an issue that they had. She’s not getting paid to work. That has a trickledown effect with all of her clients. It becomes a matter of specifics. In that particular case, you want to look at how you’re valuing your own time. We were raised to be team players. A lot of the time, the story that we’re telling ourselves is, “I’m not worth it. I’m not important enough for us to make this adjustment.” That’s not true.
I talk about the ugly lie and the beautiful lie a lot. You’re lying to yourself anyway, so why not tell yourself a beautiful lie instead of an ugly lie? The beautiful lie is, “My time is supremely valuable. The more time I take for myself, the more time I have to be focused with my clients.” That does make a big difference. A lot of the time, there can be resentment with the clients, parents, kids, with whoever it is that’s taking your time because you had that little tiny five minutes square aside for yourself. It can make a big difference when you show up, fully prepared to interact with somebody and don’t feel like you’re doing something with that other person that you resent because of the way that it unfolded, because you didn’t set the parameters that you want to set to begin with. I hope this has been helpful for you. I love talking about boundaries because when you get them into the right frame of reference1 when you get to that place where you believe that by setting better boundaries, you’re having a better experience and interaction with every person in your life. It can make a huge difference in your entire world and give a better experience for everybody. I hope you will join me for the episode of the show. Blessings.